Saturday, April 18, 2009
The Texas Rainmaker has a roundup celebrating the nearly Zen detachment of the POTUS from those devilish details which a president must face.
It's really a good thing that W was limited to two terms, as the world supply of vitriol was almost completely exhausted. I don't know what they would have done to W with such a list. Thoughts?
Yesterday, as expected, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed finding that emissions of six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, pose a threat to public health and welfare due to their contribution to global warming. The EPA further found that the emission of such gases from motor vehicles contribute to dangerous concentrations in the atmosphere. The EPA announcement is here.I predict that this little tweak is going to have the same stunning effect upon the economy as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The proposed findings will now go through a 60-day public comment period. Shortly thereafter, the findings will be finalized. Industry and anti-regulatory groups will almost certainly challenge the findings in court, and their legal challenges will almost certainly fail. Even if one doubts the accumulated scientific evidence that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases contribute to climate change and that climate change is a serious environmental concern, the standard of review is such that the EPA will have no difficulty defending its rule. Federal courts are extremely deferential to agency assessments of the relevant scientific evidence when reviewing such determinations. Moreover, under the Clean Air Act, the EPA Administrator need only "reasonably . . . anticipate" in her own "judgment" that GHG emissions threaten public health and welfare in order to make the findings, and there is ample evidence upon which the EPA Administrator could conclude that climate change is a serious threat. This is a long way of saying that even if climate skeptics are correct, the EPA has ample legal authority to make the endangerment findings.
The good news is that this legislation can be painted as a vampire, and candidates can run on the promise of putting a stake through the very heart of this smiling, fanged menace.
[Iain Duncan Smith]'s big idea is very simply stated. Poverty is not simply an absence of money. Rather, it is bound up with a whole set of other circumstances: lack of qualifications, demoralisation, family break-up, substance abuse, fatherlessness. It follows that you do not end poverty by giving money to the poor: a theory that British welfarism has amply demonstrated over 60 years. Only when you tackle poverty holistically will you facilitate meaningful improvement.
Josiah Neff of Atlanta displays his Gadsden Flag-themed "Don't Tread On Me" tattoo as he poses with Ileana Zayas of Marietta. But wait . . . Josiah's arm tattoo next to Ileana's back tattoo.
Is that freaking cool, or what? Now a student at Kennesaw State University, Ileana told me she began getting into libertarianism while she was still a student at Marietta's Lassiter High School, but got totally turned on by Ron Paul. If the coolest tattoo for college kids is the Gadsden Flag, I'm thinking the future of freedom is in good hands.
And now the bonus picture with exit question:Q.: Which right-wing extremist is sexier?
...is a fine citizen, in my estimation.
William A. Jacobson, over at Legal Insurrection, is a case in point. His post "I'm Seething Over The NY Times Calling Me Seething" documents his critical efforts against the famous fish-wrapper:
I long have criticized the bias of the NY Times, and mocked its business death spiral. My posts Nude Swiss Hikers Rescue NY Times and NY Times New Business Strategy: DEATH mocked the sensationalist trend on The Times' website. I was the first (as far as I know) to suggest The Times convert to non-profit status. I have attacked the spineless hypocrisy of columnists such as Paul Krugman and David Brooks, and taken The Times to task for its attacks on Eric Cantor and Sarah Palin, photo bias about Israel, despicable characterization the immigration issue, and The "Military Recruiting Goals" Media Lie. And I've only been blogging six months!What brought this personal attention from The Paper of Record in the Age of Boutique Vinyl?
Now The Times is giving it back to me, describing me as "seething" over the report by the Department of Homeland Security defining a broad range of citizens as "extremist" for doing nothing more than voicing their opinions on issues and seeking to influence government, both of which activities are protected by the 1st Amendment.Now, now, now, Mr. Jacobson: the 0th Commandment is Thou Shalt Not Question The Narrative. You are a Bad Person. You may torture yourself in the manner of your choosing, per the recently released torture memos, so long as you are unwavering in your Bush Blaming for the techniques employed.
Right now, my opening act, Bob Barr, is warming up the crowd for me. Remember: Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Bob Barr!
UPDATE: We're now a Memeorandum thread. Also got a link from Pundette. There's nothing like the smell of rabble in the morning! Smells like . . . victory!
UPDATE II: More linky-love (and some Rule 5 action) from Donald Douglas at American
Google brought me to an interesting Mr. Minority post on why DST draws vacuum.
But help has arrived. Some creative bloke has come up with a way to take a couple of sectors off of 2π and embed that stupid hour shift in the physical alignment of the clock:
Another alternative is simply to gaff off all this nonsense and go GMT. Having served in the Navy, all of this ante/post meridiem business is pure nonsense and a source of great woe.
After a substantial buildup, the Tea Parties seemed to be exactly what you wanted: lots of principled dissent, zero violence. The initial pull of Technorati URLs exceeds 120 links. If we've overlooked you for some technical reason, flog me with the rubber chicken.
We'll meander through the suspects. Some are becoming familiar enough that I'll doubt they mind allowing a few newcomers to bubble up, for variety's sake.
In accordance with Rule 2, let the Full Metal Jacket Reach Around begin!
- Paco starts us off with an object lesson in Rule 2: create an award, and declare This Blog the winner. The rest of you, take note. He notices RSM's review of Insty's NYP column, and muses at length over leftist idiocy (but I repeat myself). His
RevolutionTea Party post is amusing. I must admit that I don't understand how he thinks Pelosi can mend a city on stilts. I hear botox induces vertigo. She'd fall and shatter her face.
- Cynthia appears to have enjoyed the gore-thrower picture in excellent climate change review. She chides us gently for not ignoring Meghan on gay marriage. We're all in character here. Her thoughts on giving a Tea Party interview are worth bookmarking--you know that the protest is merely at the beginning stage, don't you? She got a bit esoteric with the tetra-gammadion photo for the first mandatory volunteer camp. Don't you just feel the re-education?
- Donald Douglas had an impressive roundup of Tea Party links. He roundly denounced the DHS 'screw you' note to the right wing.
He also managed to find a photo of RSM wearing more than a Speedo. RSM took the stage himself to announce to the Tea Party attendees: You don't have to call me "Darlin'", Darlin'. He also blended Rules 2 and 5 most agreeably.
- Dad29 started the week with a pointed Tea Party Wolverines reminder. He also liked the contrast offered of between the Tea Parties and other protests. His initial reaction to the DHS slam-o-gram concluded with the following observation:
Given that Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist/eugenecist (whose admirers included A. Hitler), and that the vast majority of their locations are proximate to minority populations, what actual, real-live "white supremacist" would object to abortion?The next day his misgivings about the DHS 'screw you' increased, though he was still unsure the report was real. While we should continue to hope for the best from our government, the lesson here is that healthy skepticism is an increasing requirement.
- Pundit and Pundette liked the pirate roundup, and had some helpful links of their own.
Their Right Wing Extremist post also features a Navy classic which, prior to 9/11, was only flown by the senior ship in the active fleet (USS Constitution notwithstanding).
- The Pirate's Cove knows for whom to cheer. They also picked up the Bush Blaming post. Did you know that DHS-srew-you report was also W's fault?
- Carolyn Tackett took some umbrage at a comment by our zampolit, Young 4 Eyes. Y4E: you've triggered the creation of a "Spank the Weasel" day over in the closet. As a non-weasel, it is my intention to remain ignorant of the details, but Carolyn is rumored to have amazing dexterity with pliers and blowtorch. She also linked the astroturfing post.
- The BlogProf admits to a severe case of clickophilia. We're feeling you, man. Why else do you think we get our FMJRA on? He joined in the mockery of the DHS-screw-you report with a fitting demotivator. And he echoed my sentiments on the equally despicable Penn State video. Students: can't live with them, can't do anything unspeakable to them.
- Troglopundit's wholly original cure for the GOP:
If only we could move beyond this totally bummer anti-plus-size rhetoric, maybe the Republican Party could be a majority party again.He was nonplussed at the thought of lefty infiltrators at his local tea party. He did condescend to offer a roundup of media coverage of the Tea Parties. Finally, he offers Rule 5 speculation about George Lucas. This blog demands further photographic research before coming to any conclusions.
- Moe Lane wants to know if you're a right wing extremist, too. This prompts a musical interlude:
- His characterization of Andrew Sullivan is itself worth more than the man's opinion. He cleverly throws down a link on his podcast page, knowing that we'll slavishly link him. Fausta's voice is the more interesting of the two. Sorry, Moe. Three levels of bloggers, eh? Ah, he mentions the blog by name.
- The Backyard Conservative linked to RSM's AmSpec article on "The Left's Coordinated Message Operation". She also had a Jeremiah Wright moment, peering into the nasty possible future afforded by collectivist policies.
- Meanwhile, Obi's Sister took substantial interest in the pirate situation and the Portugese water dog. She also has a quality rant on the Florida Highway Patrol.
- The Classic Liberal has been added to "the Top 100 Libertarian Blogs and Websites at The Humble Libertarian!" TCL also notes that the DHS-screw-you report came on the heels of "releasing the report titled The Modern Militia Movement."
- Political Byline slammed the Green Room as "Just another Neo-Conservative echo chamber". Paleo Pat also pooh-poohed the rightosphere reaction to the DHS-screw-you report. As a veteran myself, I think the reaction has been rather tame. We just need a standing Friday afternoon screamfest down in Lafayette Park. This administration, based on three months of flailing, can be counted upon to provide plenty of material to scream about.
- Chapomatic caught up with the Rick Moran post rather cryptically:
I observed when in DC that there were two types of Congressional staffers with which I would interact: the interns straight out of college getting the resume bullet, and the professional staffers who ran the place.
- Kirbside liked the WOW "Leeroy Jenkins" reference. No, I don't WOW and hadn't heard of the reference. Just glad the whole thing didn't turn out to be a self-Leeroy-ing. Kirside may also be developing a blogcrush on HotMES. This blog is a strong proponent of romance in these dark days.
- Under a genuinely cool graphic, Lab Experiments had an interesting Tea Party preview
What is it that we, Media Matters and its progeny must be concerned with? What do we care if people protest, if they are confident in the power of their views? We must be concerned with not appearing to be or painted as fearful of these folks while opposing them.and he goes on from there.
The answer lies in one of the most ingenious marketing events of all time, the Ben & Jerry's "What's the doughboy afraid of?" campaign. In the early 1980s, Ben & Jerry's was an upstart "premium" ice cream maker in Vermont struggling to get shelf space to compete against Pillsbury's Haaagen-Daz brand.
But Pillsbury, as do many food wholesalers, wasn't keen on giving a competitor room to grow, so it pressured stores not to give Ben & Jerry's shelf space.
In response, Ben & Jerry's hit on a protest theme: "What's the doughboy afraid of?" The campaign took off, sprouting bumper stickers, t-shirts, and generally great publicity for Ben & Jerry's. Pillsbury eventually gave in, and Ben & Jerry's got its shelf space.
The doughboy campaign holds several lessons for the Tea Party movement
- Dan Collins picked up our Pirate Rescue Fallout
- And RVFTLC liked the Right Wing Extremist graphic.
- Jimmie at the Sundries Shack seems to have broken the Technorati code, with the best lefty blog pre-Tea roundup I've seen thus far. Great work, sir.
- The Liberty Papers was among the first blogs to pick up the DHS-screw-you report. We keep this up, and civil servants may recall for whom they work.
- Fisherville Mike has a marketing suggestion for the Hagerstown Suns:
The Hagerstown Suns have hired the 16-year-old twins of blogger the Other McCain for the grounds crew. I wonder if they'll have an Other McCain promo at the ballpark, where guys get in free for wearing a Speedo.
- Common Sense Political Thought appreciated the Salvation Army as a right wing extremist organization link.
- Fausta linked us on a beefcake post for the ladies in the crowd.
- Flap's blog now understands Krugman is part of the Journolist cabal.
- Monkey Darts also picked up on the Troll Taxonomy post.
- The excellently named Gold-Plated Witch on Wheels weighed in last Sunday on the lefty Democrisy.
- Stephen Gordon liked RSM's title for the video of him on Rachel Maddow's show. Wow. What a tedious person is Rachel Maddow. We all owe Stephen a beverage for not doing something unspeakable.
- The Hooded Utilitarian seemed to think there was tension between RSM and AoS regarding how much credit to give BHO over the pirate rescue.
- Instaputz, "Systematically documenting the putziness of Glenn Reynolds, Pajamas Media, and various other Putzen," gives RSM a thumbs up for anticipating the noble savage card getting played in defense of the Somali pirates. There is hope for this one.
- The JABbering Stooge "A random schmuck mouthing off about the state of the world", picks us up for the Shorter Entire Wingnutosphere. I stand by my efforts in this regard with pride, you weenie.
- Whereas the Right, Wing Nut "A cry of common sense in New Jersey's liberal madhouse!" noted our continuous updates on the pirate rescue. Google Reader über-goober!
- John in Carolina offers a left-handed compliment to Susan Roesgen
Some bloggers are saying today Roesgen is America's "worst reporter." I think she's better described as typical of most MSM reporters in terms of her political bent and not as good at most of her peers at holding her temper.If that piece of work is 'typical', then we must truly thank St. Gore for the webbytubes, that have brought salvation from crap.
- The KURU Lounge on the DHS-screw-you report:
The Other McCain - More on Right Wing Terrorism and the Department of Homeland Security - It gives the impression, undeserved or not, that the Obama administration is becoming a left-wing incarnation of the Richard Nixon administration, with lists of political enemies and wiretaps at the headquarters of their opponentsLose the kid gloves already: the DHS deserves copious floggings about the head and shoulders with a rubber chicken.
- Larry disclaims all interest in Rule 2, and asserts merely to enjoy the writing.
- The Michican Blogger gave a shout as a part of the Tea Party roundup.
- Nicedeb linked the Jane Hamsher Epic Fail clip from here.
- The PA Pundits brought in the Bama Tea: How Big Is Huge? post.
- The Rhetorican enjoyed the Governor Perry link.
- Rhymes with Clown has a good laugh at Ygelsias.
- Western experience picks up on the phrase "Trust me, there will be more shoes dropping over the next few days, as we learn who was behind the DHS smear", amidst a thorough roundup.It's really like the General Betray-us smear, only, this time it's our own government, not an arguably tasteless 1st Amendment usage.
- Whatever is Right refers to the Rick Moran post in a jolly rant about the Tea Parties.
- Capital Research found amusement in the Jane Hamsher whining, citing the blog.
- News-In picked up the Troll Taxonomy.
- Oliver Willis takes notice of the attention paid him by this blog.
Blast it, my effort to silence the right wing has been uncovered by a writer for the… American Spectator. They were alerted by commandant Benen’s missive about their fakeroots protests, scheduled for tax day (More from Benen here, where he tries to fool the right into thinking we didn’t write our posts on George Soros’ say-so). No doubt, they are certain that writing about this made-up protest by Fox News & co. was a coordinated activity? Why? Well, that’s how they do things and they’re projecting as usual.Dude, it has nothing to do with striking fear, and everything to do with generating independent thought.
Furthermore, they’ve convinced themselves that we’re afraid of this now, like we’re supposedly afraid of every craptacular thing they do when in fact… we’re laughing at you.
- The "Atheist Bikini" seems to have PoliGazette rather intrigued.
- The Skepticrats weigh in with Rule 5 outrage about two overlooked Fox correspondents. Gallant.
- Stop the ACLU rained on the progressive parade concerning the pirate rescue. Outside of Technorati, we've captured a few random links:
- Rick Moran had a muddling response to the feedback offered him:
This is a point made by Stacey McCain, Jim Treacher, and others - that I am consciously (or subconsciously) accepting the narrative offered by the left on people like Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, and other conservatives; that we should ignore the exaggerations, the false contextualization of remarks, the cherry-picked quotes, that the left routinely uses to demonize them, and through them the entire right.
- Philip over at Who-Whom chracterized the Troll Taxonomy post as "Dumb". Thanks for noticing, boss. He also picked up the rant against public schools:
Now, McCain is a sharp guy. Which is why it’s so hard to understand where this deranged knuckleheadedness is coming from. It’s equal parts ignorant, naïve, paranoid, and delusional.
What is it about public schools that sends otherwise rational people over the edge? These are, remember, the institutions responsible for producing one of the most thoroughly educated populations in history. The institutions that freed book learning from the clutches of the wealthy, making the 3 R's available to all citizens. Are they perfect? Hell no. There's work to be done, starting with breaking the teachers' unions, but to call them "Moloch" (as does some crazy in the featured YouTube) is asinine. And assclownish.
Could it be . . . memories of wedgies and swirlies and unrequited schoolboy crushes, maybe? Not the leonine RSM!
- Thanks to Pat in Shreveport for sending the links straight away. She offered fine thoughts in response to the Troll Taxonomy. She critiqued Ross Douthat's Tea Party review, and also transcribed a portion of RSM's speech in Alabama, concluding
The only way the speech could have been better would have been if he'd been wearing his speedo.
- Wy Blog
- Political Castaway
- A Pile of Words
- Asian Badger
- Attack the System
- The Pink Flamingo Blog
- United Liberty
- Snooper Report
- Pax Parabellum
- Neptunus Lex
- Track-a-'crat (sorry, Jonathan)
- Tulsa Tea Party
- Mondo Piccolo
- Monique Stuart (Egad!)
- No Sheeples Here (Sorry!)
- Grandpa John
- Politics and Critical Thinking
- This roundup was compiled by Frequent Commenter Smitty using his army of high-tech clone robots. If you've linked us in the past week and are not linked back here, all complaints/requests/death threats should be e-mailed to Smitty, who will either (a) update this post to include you, (b) make sure to give you extra linkage in next week's FMJ Saturday roundup, or (c) hunt you down and beat you into a coma.
- To be linked in Rule 5 Sunday, please follow the Official Guidelines, post your cheesecake/beefcake before 9 p.m. Saturday, and e-mail the URL to Smitty.
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Friday, April 17, 2009
I'm actually much better-looking in person.
Stephen Gordon at Liberty Papers has the best roundup on the Alabama Tea Party scene.
4/17: Dear Ross Douthat
4/17: I Question the Timing!
4/16: The World's Worst TV Reporter
4/16: 'Bama Tea: How big is huge?
4/14: Alabama, here I come!
[The Tea Party] have all of the weaknesses of the anti-war marches: Their message is intertwined with a sense of disenfranchisement and all kinds of inchoate cultural resentments, they've brought various wacky extremists out of the woodwork (you know, like Glenn Beck), and just as George W. Bush benefited from having opposition to his policies identified with peacenik marchers in Berkeley and Ann Arbor, so Barack Obama probably benefits from having the opposition (such as it is) associated with a bunch of Fox News fans marching through the streets on Tax Day, parroting talk radio tropes and shouting about socialism. Obama is a very popular President, at the moment, his unpopularity among Republicans notwithstanding, and it's awfully hard to see the Tea Parties doing much to change that reality in the short run; if anything, they're far more likely to reconfirm the majority in its opinion that American conservatism is increasingly wacky, echo-chamberish, and out-of-touch.Politics as an abstract concept formed by reading Talking Points Memo may be sufficiently prestigious for you, Mr. Working Class Hero, but if you weren't gunning the turn-only lane on Valleydale Road in Hoover in a desperate haste to reach Wednesday's rally with Rick and Bubba, Lee Davis and Tim James, don't tell me what the Tea Party movement is about, OK?
You and David Brooks make such a perfect couple. Perfectly useless, that is. Go surf some more 'barely legal' porn. and stop pretending to know anything about actual politics.
Lent's over, douchebag, and it's punk-smacking season.
UPDATE: Linked by Cynthia Yockey, who stepped up to help fill the gap by punk-smacking Douthat while I was bound by my Lenten vow.
In fact, it was such a rush job that Janet Napolitano couldn’t wait to resolve the obvious civil-liberty concerns raised by her own lawyers before shoving it out the door. Napolitano would later have to backtrack on the exact same language flagged by the attorneys by claiming that she didn't specifically approve the report issued by her office and that she would have changed the language in hindsight. She had the opportunity to fix it before its release, but the completely threadbare report was deemed such a high priority that it went out anyway.Glenn Beck was called a kook for saying that the Obama administration was threatening civil liberties. Now John Ziegler gets handcuffed for the crime of journalism and Team Obama is turning Homeland Security loose against dometic political opponents. Who's the kook now?
Now, what could have triggered that? Anyone know of events occurring just after April 7, 2009, that such an assessment could have painted as radical, extremist, and threats to national security? Hmmm.
UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! You might be a right-wing extremist if . . . you're blogging from the Alabama home of reactionary novelist Tito Perdue.
We watched opera last night, and Tito reminded me how we met. I'd written a column for the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune which (humorously, I thought) explained why I couldn't stand the caterwauling of an operatic soprano. Tito, who was then living in Cave Spring, Ga., wrote a letter to the editor denouncing me as a philistine. This was the start of a long and eventful friendship. More after this operatic interlude featuring the Russian soprano Netrebko:
Among other things, I'm semi-responsible for Tito's "outing" as something other than a liberal. (Don't ever call him a "conservative"; he'll reply, "No, I'm a reactionary!") Tito's first two novels were published to critical acclaim and he looked to be well on his way to being the next Winston Groom (who is, in fact, a cousin of his). Critics thought his Faulkneresque style was "postmodern," and he was favorably reviewed in the New York Times, etc.
Then, after we met, I wrote a feature profile about Tito, describing his library full of classics, his enjoyment of Wagner, his admiration of Nietzsche, his general loathing of all things new or even recent. Among other things, he mentioned in the interview that, if there were ever to be a film made of his books, the only director he'd want would be Elia Kazan -- who, you may recall, "named names" for the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Tito thought the article was splendid, and copies of the article were distributed by his agent. At which point, the game was up. His book contract was cancelled and it was a couple of years before he published his next novel, which the New York Times didn't review. Difficult as is the life of a literary novelist in the Age of Illiteracy, imagine what it's like for Tito being marked as an antagonist of the liberal culture -- really, an antagonist of the entirety of contemporary society. And, doggone it, Elia Kazan is dead!
Tito is a fine storyteller and his first novel, Lee, is great, even if the critics agree. The book introduces the protagonist Lee Pefley, who is featured in his other novels. His second book, The New Austerities, was actually better, I thought. More recently, he's published a wonderful tale of Lee Pefley's romantic youth, The Sweet Scented Manuscript. This is a roman a clef of Tito's own wild experience at Ohio's Antioch College, where he met, wooed and married his wife Judy.
Their love affair was scandalous enough to get them both kicked out of school in 1957. They've now been married 51 years, and I think young readers -- who have zero idea of what the 1950s were really like, much less the kind of love that causes two kids to get married at 18 -- would get a thrill out of The Sweet Scented Manuscript. Of course, this postulates the hypothetical existence of young people who read literary novels for any reason other than being assigned to do so by their teachers. Sigh.
At any rate, I'm sitting barefoot in Tito's living room, which has a magnificent view of the lake. Last night, as we stood out on the deck underneath a star-filled sky, I said I wished my friends up in D.C. had any inkling of how wonderful Alabama is. This horrified Judy, who expressed the fear that such a revelation might result in an influx that would ruin the place.
So whatever you do, don't tell anyone that the nearest place to heaven on earth is 10 miles north of Wetumpka on Alabama Highway 111, just off County Road 23. Take a right turn at Martin's Bait & Tackle and keep going until you find the end of Muscadine Lane.
Of course, you'll never find the place. You probably won't even bother to try. And isn't that sad?
Since when is flying to Europe torture? Stuffing babies, elderly people, sick people, whole families, into boxcars, with no food or water for a nice trip to the "country work camp," that's torture. I say give Mr. Demjanjuk a first class ticket and an extra blanket and send the son-of-a-bitch to meet his justice.Attitude runs in the family.
Donald Douglas writes a mildly mocking piece about the Evil Bush Administration's memo approving the use of insects in confined spaces as a means of encouraging The Bad Guys to reveal information in the GWOT. And the Spanish are all in a rush not to make the case international:
Yes, it turns out that in all of their angst, the leftists are crestfallen now that Candido Conde-Pumpido, Spain's top prosecutor, "has rejected opening an investigation into whether six Bush administration officials sanctioned torture against terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, saying Thursday a U.S. courtroom would be the proper forum."The Gateway Pundit goes beyond merely laughing at the fauxtrage:
In response to this latest move by the White House, Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Barack Obama is endangering the country by releasing Justice Department memos.Ah, yes: with Texas and Montana making the noises of States United, and DHS looking like a pack of scoundrels, it would make much sense to try to gain control of the news cycle. No, that doesn't reek of desperation, not at all. Not a whiff.
Does anyone else question the timing of this news story?
I'm here at the home of novelist Tito Perdue, on the lakefront about 10 miles north of Wetumpka, Alabama. We were out on the deck, beneath a clear midnight sky, and I couldn't help but think of the splendid arrangement of "Stars Fell On Alabama" performed by the world-famous Marching Southerners of my alma mater, Jacksonville (Ala.) State University.
UPDATE: Thanks to Cynthia Yockey for this Doris Day rendition of "Stars Fell On Alabama":
Man, they don't write 'em like that anymore.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Stockdale, during an 11:00 a.m. PST ceremony on Saturday, April 18, 2009, in Port Hueneme, Calif.
Designated DDG 106, the new destroyer honors Medal of Honor recipient Vice Adm. James Bond Stockdale (1923-2005), the legendary leader of American prisoners of war (POWs) during the Vietnam War.
Stockdale was the highest-ranking naval officer ever held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. His plane was shot down Sept. 9, 1965, while flying combat missions over North Vietnam. Stockdale spent more than seven years in captivity at prisons in North Vietnam, including time at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” Four of those years were spent in solitary confinement. While imprisoned, Stockdale is credited with organizing a set of rules to govern the behavior of fellow prisoners of war and for helping to develop a code for prisoners to communicate with each other that included tapping on cell walls. In recognition of his leadership and sacrifice he was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1976.
I never had the privilege of meeting the man in person, but his leadership model is all I retain from four years of leadersleep classes in college.
The other point of connection was voting for him and Perot in '92, for which I was rewarded with eight years of Clinton.
In supporting the Tea Party protests, and struggling to restore the Constitution to relevance in Washington, DC, we can honor these men who've made what freedom we retain possible.
Nothing more than an eyeblink of flyover country, Council, Idaho (~3.5 hours north of Boise on US95) had its tea party.
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How do I know? I goaded my mother into showing up, that's how:
Paster Ted and Karen and I were at Council, Idaho. There were between 20 and 30 people when we were there. The wind was miserable. A lot of flag waving and horn honking went on. Sure you can post the pictures. Love, M.
PARVUS SED POTENS
Cynthia's prowess as a researcher has borne fruit in the quest to resolve why Susan Roesgen is The World's Worst TV Reporter. I'll caption Susan's hapless intern with an explanatory thought-balloon: "OMG, I let the smoke out of the laptop with the Dave Matthews .mp3s! Susan'll kill me! Markos said that this box of old computer smoke pills might bring it back, but where do you put them in? Below? Stupid computer!"
If you haven't seen the Red Eye flogging of CNN, do follow the link for some crass belly laughs.
UPDATE: Linked at Memeorandum and Red State, and Vodka Pundit suggests "that vacuous Anderson Cooper guy" is worse than Roesgen. I'm sorry, but when you send a reporter to cover a protest, and the reporter launches into a political argument with one of the protesters -- on live TV -- that's a new nadir of shameless bias.
UPDATE II: Let's take a moment to talk about bias and protests. Journalists are human beings and all human beings have opinions. When a journalist is assigned to report on an event, this is different than offering to comment on an event.
I am one of a very few people in the news business who thinks that a journalist can do both -- reporting and commentary -- without impairing his precious "objectivity," because I agree with the late Hunter S. Thompson that a lot of what passes for "objective journalism" is bullshit. The key to Thompson's "gonzo journalism" was that he was honest with himself, and with his readers, about what he was doing.
The reason so many Americans hate the news media is because so many supposedly "objective" journalists are transparently dishonest in what they're doing. Media bias is therefore not about a lack of objectivity (no one is strictly objective) but rather about a lack of honesty.
I've been involved in protests as a citizen, I've covered protests as a reporter, and I've shared my opinion of protests as a commentator. When people complain about bias in reporting, what they're talking about is news coverage that pretends to be objective -- neutral, balanced, neither condemning nor endorsing -- but really isn't. Bias takes many forms. One form of bias I observed in coverage an anti-globalization protest in 2000:
Something about the protests in Washington against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that didn't get much press was the Commies.Only a blatantly biased and dishonest reporter, profoundly sympathetic to the objectives of the anti-IMF demonstrators, could have failed to report the massive socialist/communist presence at that protest. And all of the other reporters did exactly that: They ignored it.
I say they "didn't get much press," but in fact, the presence of the Communist Party USA at the anti-IMF rally didn't get any press at all -- except for a couple of paragraphs in The Washington Times, courtesy of yours truly. . . .
Finally arriving at the Ellipse, I am immediately set upon by guys hawking the Socialist Worker newspaper for 50 cents. This was why the media silence about the heavy Red presence at A16 was so puzzling to me. No one could enter the Ellipse without walking past three or four of these Socialist Worker vendors and yet I was the only journalist who thought this worth reporting.
Once you got past the Socialist Workers, there were still more entrepreneurial leftists, hawking the Worker's Vanguard. Then there was the guy selling yellow "Mumia Must Live" buttons for a buck each. Yeah, save the cop-killer, $1. . . .
The place was positively brimming with rage against corporate capitalism, from T-shirts ("Mean Corporations Suck") to handmade signs ("Corporate Press Is Not Free"). At the International Socialist Organization table, you could get a nice blue-and-white sign reading, "Workers of the World Unite and Fight." Another group distributed red T-shirts lettered in black: "Abolish the World Bank! End the IMF! Dissolve the WTO! Socialist Party USA."
These lying liberal journalists obviously knew that the Ordinary American despises socialism and communism. To ignore the socialists and communists at the anti-IMF protests was, therefore, to conceal from the reader very significant information that might have caused the reader to say, "Ah! A bunch of Bolsheviks engaged in their usual demonization of capitalism! Bring back the Smith Act!"
Now, consider in this light Jane Hamsher's vehement insistence that the Tea Party protests are illegitimate because of the involvement of FreedomWorks, Fox News, et cetera. And consider how the Tea Party protests were covered (or not covered) by the MSM. The same JournoList media that ignored the anti-IMF commies has revealed -- by their editorial decisions vis-a-vis the Tea Party movement -- that they are no more neutral and objective than Jane Hamsher.
The dishonesty is what rankles. I have far more respect for Jane Hamsher than I have for the editors of The Washington Post or the New York Times. Jane may be a crazy Bolsehvik, but she is at least reasonably honest about it.Michael Palmer of the Tuscaloosa News: Alas, the Tea Party organizers in Tuscaloosa didn't have "Mack the Knife" on the karaoke track, so I had to sing a capella. More good stuff at the Hot Air Green Room. UPDATE V: Alabama Republican leader Shana Kluck has more "Sweet Tea" updates at The Liberty Papers, and Michelle Malkin has delicious video of James Wolcott, that paragon of pretentious journalistic mediocrity.
Mostly worthy of ignoring, though you have to laugh at this:
Where Ayn Rand and Curtis LeMay meet, there is the Tea Party. Where in that orgy of morally-sanctioned greed and jackboot diplomacy is there room for Sunday afternoon dinner? The Tea Party would be right wing, but not conservative.Curtis LeMay? Bwahahahaha. Refusing to bow to thuggery is "morally-sanctioned greed and jackboot diplomacy". The Tea Parties have been focused almost exclusively on the domestic
Realizing that the Tea Party would strip the GOP of some of its worst elements, I badly want it to exist. And not just to exist, but to thrive. Of course, lacking a clear religious component, Christianists would by and large remain where they are, further strenghtening the forces of theoconservatism within the Republican fold.Christianists? Speak that word in an infinite loop and tell me how many repetitions it takes to mean something, Philip.
You can’t win, can you?Win? You think your game somehow more than a comedy routine?
Finally, a scenario, and questions:Finally? It did.
Against all odds, the Tea Party explodes onto the stage of American politics. While largely rejected in areas like New England and the Pacific Northwest, it manages to establish significant national presence.
In the 2010 midterms, it grabs a few dozen seats in the House and even two or three in the Senate. A number of Republicans defect. A few Democrats also join. Poised to make further gains in the next election, who does run for POTUS in 2012 under the banner of the Tea Party?
At what point will you realize that it's anything but a cult of personality? Do read the Constitution, Philip: what the country needs less of is
- egotistical swine in office,
- centralization, and
- velvet handcuffs (entitlements) that claim to help, while doing the opposite in the long run.
How does that candidate change the election? How does the Tea Party alter our socio-political discourse? Is it ultimately a force for good or for bad?The candidate does it by serving up the ideas and refusing the personality cult status afforded some in the current day. The Tea Party does not, itself, seek to "alter our socio-political discourse" in some ideology-driven manner. Rather, it returns the overflowing river of government to its Constitutional banks, so that we are not flooded by authoritarian creeps.
"Show your work."Oh, like you're some kind of judge? The proposition "The Tea Party has done sufficient work" is non-falsifiable: there will always be a clown (or worse) who will raise this or that objection. It's too faith-driven; its demographic points to "racism"; it's driven by corporate puppetmasters. When you've got a truly ideologically-driven media, these accusations will be thrown out repeatedly, without support, and left to attempt a run at "truthiness".
Stay beautiful, Philip.
I spoke at 5:15 p.m.in Tuscaloosa -- Roll, Tide! -- and afterward was briefly interviewed by Kelly Munts, a student journalist for the Crimson and White:
Robert Stacy McCain was among those speakers. McCain mentioned his own transition to being conservative after being raised ‘a yellow dog Democrat.’ He advised audience members to get organized in order to be as effective as possible in their reaching their goals. After the speech, McCain mentioned the perspective that he took in addressing the group.That interview was conducted while walking across the Quad to Stephen Gordon's Jeep, because I was due at the Hoover event at 6:30 p.m. The statute of limitations hasn't expired, so I'm not going to say how fast Gordo drove via I-20, I-459 and I-59, but we were a red blur until we got off the exit at Hoover.
“It was a huge crowd, they got quiet at one point and I think they might’ve been taking me a little too seriously,” McCain said. “I was trying to be upbeat, positive and humorous because you get the most done when you’re having a good time.”
A total traffic jam locked up Valleydale Road.. I kept telling Gordo that this was the crowd for the rally, and he kept doubting me. "Nah, it must be an accident up ahead." But as usual, I was right. Several of the cars we passed -- and I'm not going to say that we drove illegally in a left-turn-only lane -- had people with American flags and Tea Party protest signs.
When we finally arrived at the event (via a shortcut) the parking lot was full, and as I raced toward the stage, throngs of people were still streaming into the rally, which had already been going for 45 minutes. Famous Alabama radio personalities Rick and Bubba were doing a live TV remote with Sean Hannity. Alabama gubernatorial candidate Tim James spoke; leading Republican observers in the state say he's the man to watch for 2010.
Next up was Birmingham talk-radio host Lee Davis, who did a James Brown hardest-working-man-in-show-business performance. By this time, I'd found my Samoan lawyer buddy Bert, who lives in Birmingham and joined me backstage. The lady came to tell me I was next up after Davis -- a tough act to follow.
But hey, I'm Mack the Knife. I killed. I told 'em how my buddy Stephen Gordon broke the story about the DHS report about "right-wing extremists," and then:
Since I work in Washington, I contacted my source at the Department of Homeland Security and asked him what I should be on the lookout for. And I've got my notes from that interview with me. You might be a right-wing extremist if . . .That may not seem too funny just reading it on a blog, but the magic was in the delivery. It went over very well with a big fired-up crowd. Alabama people are the finest people on the planet.
. . . you refuse to bow to Saudi royalty.
. . . you think the only good pirate is a dead pirate.
. . . you don't think it's a good idea for politicians in Washington to borrow another trillion dollars you grandchildren will have to repay.
. . . you think you know how to run your life better than a bunch of 'experts' in Washington.
. . . you believe in God, but don't think that Obama is the Messiah.
. . . you believe the only reason you have First Amendment Rights is because of your Second Amendment rights.
After the rally, went to the Five Points Grill for a celebratory dinner with friends, where various
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
From the blogosphereic equivalent of Perry Mason, we hear:
Montana's staunchly pro-Second Amendment Governor, Democrat Brian Schweitzer, has signed Montana HB 246, the Montana Firearms Freedom Act. The bill declares that a firearm which is manufactured in Montana, and never leaves the State of Montana, "is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce."
...gonna be a dental floss tycoon:
The Track-A-'Crat and I were so fashionable as to nearly miss the whole Tea Party event in Lafayette Park. My plan of scheduling the Spring air conditioning groom for 15Apr as a fig leaf for cutting out of work was too effective. The lateness of the technicians and the fact that the compressor is Tango Uniform nearly made me miss the party entirely. We did get there in time to chat up a couple of people and then hear the police whistles shooing every one out of the park, as the demonstration permit had apparently expired (but see Moe Lane below).
The politely violent right wing extremists shuffled riotously off in an agreeable way, in a modestly brutal quest for warm beverages, whipped into a carefully disorganized froth by those non-existent, Machiavellian corporate organizers.
In spite of the rain, it was better attended than the February outing at the end of CPAC. One looks forward 04Jul, when you figure the next celebration of the Community Organizer in Chief will occur.
There was a silver blog lining in all the clouds: His Paco-ness was more squared away than I, and has posted a fine report. Thanks, Paco!
And here is Moe Lane. Apparently, there was a box of teabags thrown over the White House fence, triggering the ejection from the park. Videos here.
Also, The Political Castaway was present.
Update: Alan Colmes is about as sunny as the weather. Can't someone find him a dry Snuggie?
Update II: Pundit and Pundette add to the picture fray.
UPDATE: BTW, where are those "right-wing billionaires" when you need them? Instead of flying in on a private jet, I drove 700 miles to get here. Then, because Gordo had fallen asleep and didn't hear his phone ringing, I slept in my car for a couple of hours.
To update a little more of what's gone online while I was offline for 18 hours:
- Patrick Ruffini pushes back against the Left's "authenticity" meme.
- Michelle Malkin documents the history of the Tea Party movement.
- Michelle also punk-smacks Paul Ryan (tea-bagging my man-crush!)
- Glenn Reynolds tea-bags the Wall Street Journal.
- Right-Wing Extremist Pride!
- Extremist Round-Up.
- Tea Party Round-Up.
This new Holy Trinity of right-wing basket cases has been pushing all sorts of crazy hallucinations of late. . . . It’s like a Farrelly Brothers version of right-wing political agitation.Marc Cooper at the L.A. Times:
Go to a hobby store. Buy a scale model of a U.N. One-World-Government Black Helicopter and a tube of glue. Toss the model kit. Sniff the entire tube of glue. You're all set for the party.And of course, that sober empiricist Sully:
[T]hey deserve to be dismissed as performance artists in a desperate search for coherence in an age that has left them bewilderingly behind.Leave your behind out of this, Andrew.
UPDATE: For anyone tempted to discouragement by such elitist snark, let me share a comment I made at Hot Air's Green Room:
It's important to understand the insight that someone shared with me last year: "The Ron Paul movement wasn't about Ron Paul. It was about a movement."People tend to get the kind of leadership they deserve. During the Bush years, the conservative grassroots developed a sort of inert passivity, waiting around for GOP HQ to tell them what the important issues were and what the appropriate messages were. This top-down, hierarchical model of organization was somewhat successful, so long as the Democrats were willing to play by the same rules.
Could anyone reasonably claim that John McCain represented a movement?
Conservatives need to re-learn the idea of building a movement, instead of sitting around passively waiting for the Next Ronald Reagan to just magically appear.
What happened, however, was that after the Kerry debacle in 2004 people like Markos Moulitsas told the activist base of the Democratic Party that they should stop sitting around waiting for Bob Shrum to figure out a winning strategy. Instead, they started organizing at the grassroots level and just plain raising hell, and pretty soon the Democrats in Washington said, "Hey, who are those guys?"
Next thing you knew, Hillary, Edwards, Pelosi and everybody else was kowtowing to the grassroots, Joe Lieberman was walking the plank and -- lo and behold! -- the Democrats took back Congress in 2006, maintained the momentum and won the White House in 2008.
So if you're a conservative out there in Ohio or Florida or Colorado who's waiting for RNC HQ to save the GOP, you're part of the problem. If you want to be part of the solution, you've got to become an activist. You've got to organize.
Create a movement, and don't worry about who the leader of the movement is. Be your own leader.
WOLVERINES! HIT THE TIP JAR!
UPDATE 1:30 p.m. CDT: One of Stephen's friends who is a student at the University of Alabama has invited us to visit him before the Tuscaloosa event. So I'll soon be on a campus abloom with beautiful 'Bama belles. A tough job, but somebody's got to do it . . .
UPDATE 1:50 p.m. CDT: Small world: I sent an e-mail to some old Delta House buddies from Jacksonville (Ala.) State, and got a reply from Robin Nee of Tullahoma, Tenn., whose husband Larry founded the Deltas:
Larry & I are a couple of right wing fools who plan tospeak up for what we believe in today at 4:30 p.m.(CT) South Jackson St. Tullahoma at our local Tea Party.Larry loves him some Fords. You ought to see him at Talladega. No, wait: You ought to see Robin at Talladega.
My sign says: "You can't fix Stupid, but you can VOTE IT OUT!
Larry's says: "Way To Go FORD...for not taking the Bailout...too many strings!"
UPDATE 2 p.m. CDT: "When fascism comes to America, it will look like Tea Party crashers." Godwin's Law or fair historical analogy? Disrupting opponent's meetings was a specialty of Ernst Roehm's SA Brownshirts. And disruptive tactics aren't the only thing the contemporary Left of Weimar America has in common with Roehm's goon squads.
The Arizona State University community is expressing anger and embarrassment in response to ASU's decision not to award President Barack Obama an honorary degree when he gives the commencement speech there next month. An ASU spokesperson now confesses, "we blew it," and concedes that the university likely would have conferred the honorary degree, but once it became a controversy, ASU administrators were too worried about appearing insincere.
No, no: we all believe your beclowning entirely sincere.
How do you not link advice this good?
My brief statement:
There is wisdom in the Constitution.Too 'artsy' though.
The moral hazards of the hour,
Require support for restitution,
Of the several States' power.
Stand fifty strong or collapse we will,
Into a socialized heap.
The 'Chicago Way' will bring us ill.
Beyond, the Founding Fathers weep.
And if we've ever done a thing,
To deserve the liberty gift,
We will the sign and the voice bring,
Protesting a ridiculous spendthrift.
This video provides three lessons in What Not to Do:
- Standing around looking oafish. Be alive, find some humor amidst the politically grim situation.
- Potty mouth. You could be captured on film, so there is no need for a Quentin Tarentino moment.
- Running amok. Pursuant to point #2, remember: if you give the opposition any talking points, they will be used against you. We can expect them to substitute artistic license for journalistic integrity anyway. Ensure the slanders are purely creative writing, and have no factual basis.
One hopes that everyone is geared up for the big event today.
I've got three signs, a camera, and a heart full of hope for the country.
Mel Brooks, on the right, shows what doing nothing will do for your career opportunities:
You can fill in the blank for which plutocrat/aristocrat Harvey Korman represents.
You think this is funny? TARP Dollars Bolster Bottled Urine Industry:
"Detractors claim the president's in the pocket of big urine. But that's not true to my knowledge."
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
You Go, dude.
By: Creighton H.C.R. No. 50
WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States reads as follows: "The powers not delegated to the
United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the
States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people";
WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of
federal power as being that specifically granted by the
Constitution of the United States and no more; and
WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment
means that the federal government was created by the states
specifically to be an agent of the states; and
WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated
as agents of the federal government; and
WHEREAS, Many federal laws are directly in violation of the
Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of
the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union
of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal
government may not usurp; and
WHEREAS, Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says,
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a
Republican Form of Government," and the Ninth Amendment states that
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not
be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people";
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New
York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that congress may not
simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the
WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations
and some now pending from the present administration and from
congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States;
now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas
hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise
enumerated and granted to the federal government by the
Constitution of the United States; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal
government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective
immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these
constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that
directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal
penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation
or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and, be it
RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the
senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the
Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this
resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a
memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.
Great place to start, and do not let up the pressure.
Next, we need a stake in the heart of the 16th Amendment.
That was Political Castaway:
Here's the story, as it is being reported. Bo was sold to a D.C. resident late last year or early this year. Another dog out of the same litter was sold to Ted Kennedy. Bo was returned to the breeder in March and was sent directly to the Kennedy's dog trainer in Northern Virginia. From there, he is to become the newest White House resident.
Reading between the lines, is it difficult to imagine a typical D.C. power play here? The Kennedys, because they are the Kennedys, saw an opportunity to do a favor for the White House. They arranged for the unnamed third party to "return" his dog to the breeder (itself an unusual occurence short of health concerns for the puppy) so that the Kennedys could become the heroes in locating just the perfect dog for the Obamas.
Given that Vodkapundit's (subscriber only, what are you waiting for?) PJTV segment is called "Hair of the Dog", you had to expect a Bo appearance, and it was worth the wait.
But if the Kennedys masterminded the dog placement, could it have been an allusion to that famous non-quotation of Harry Truman: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog"?
"Oh, the science is in," said Dr. Holdren. "We know absolutely that the Earth sits on four elephants, who, in turn, rest upon a giant turtle. Their respiration, coupled with carbon emissions, causes the planet to heat up."I'm not sure if I buy the kelp. I think that it's really the turtle, and, sadly, it's turtles all the way down.